by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Changed by the Gospel (6 of 23)
Series: Colossians - The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ
Stephen Whitney
Colossians 1:21-23

John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, was born in London in 1725. His godly mother died when he was seven years-old. He went to sea with his father when he was 11 years-old. Influenced by the sailors he picked up their drinking and swearing.

A few years later he enlisted in the Royal Navy and then deserted while the ship was in the West Indies. He was caught and flogged without mercy. After this, he lost any faith he had in God. He confessed, ''I became too vile for the vile company with me!''

Escaping the second time, he fell into the hands of a slave trader in Africa. For 15 years he lived as a slave. He hit bottom as the slave of a white slave trader's black mistress. For two years he was destitute and hungry. He said that during his time as a slave he began sinning beyond what even he was comfortable with.

Later, he commanded a slave ship, but he was so hardened by sin that he was apathetic to the cruelties afflicted upon the helpless slaves. In a terrible storm, from which he had no hope of escaping, God spoke to his sinful, sordid soul. He saw himself as God saw him - a helpless and hopeless slave to sin. He cried out to God for deliverance and was wonderfully saved.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.


Alienated (3x) - Gk. estranged meaning the relationship is broken. Acts 15:39 Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them on a second missionary journey and Paul did not. There arose such a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other.

Spiritually it is to be estranged from a relationship with God. Eph. 2:12 Remember at one time you were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and stranger to the covenants of promise. Eph. 4:18 Unbelievers are alienated from the life of G ...

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